This review is a little delayed in coming – mostly due to the fact that I’m in recovery and haven’t had the chance to share my experience at this year’s Nike Women’s Marathon.
Okay, so it isn’t as dire as it sounds. I’m actually doing quite well both physically and mentally after my 5th run at the NWM. This year boasted a new route, 25,000 runners and another invigorating girl power weekend. Seriously, I’d take a girl power weekend over a useless Valentine’s Day, any day. 🙂 The food and shopping are so much better (hello, Tiffany blue box and pasta carb-loads? Hell to the yeah!)
On to the race…
I was a little apprehensive about this year’s race with the new route. Where would the Kaiser oranges begin? Where are the hills? Where are the downhills?
And did you see the incline at mile 10? WTF!
In the end, I MUCH preferred this route. The first 3 miles nearly did me in mentally. It takes me about 2-3 miles to warm up so to start with hills, even short ones, was so not the business. I very nearly turned around to watch the football games in the hotel room. Really. I very nearly did. Fortunately, I met a girl who was running it for the first time who asked me…ME!…to help her through the course.
Having been in her position before, I stuck with her and I made it through the early hills of the course.
We were separated when I had to stop to stretch out my calves as they started to tighten and cramp, but I hope she finished strong. Fong – if by some small chance you read this – I’m so sorry I lost you and I hope you finished and got your little blue box.
The race was still a mental battle for me but thankfully the downhill portions came when I needed them most and I pushed hard through the uphill battles. Mile 10 is a killer hill. But it is for everyone. So I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, drank my water, ate my Luna bar, took a selfie, took another selfie, stretched, took a selfie, cried, took another selfie, walked backwards, walked forwards and ahhhhhhhh, made it to the top. I did anything I could to distract myself.
As I coasted down the hill towards Mile 12, I knew I had very little left in me. I probably could have pushed myself harder and aimed for a time that was so far from my PR….but you know what, I’m running in one of the most beautiful city in the world. I’m getting cheered along by cheerleaders and drummers and bystanders who simply want to see us finish. Gosh darn it….I’m taking another selfie. I’m taking some darn pictures. I don’t have to cross that finishline with tears streaming down my face. I’m happy to have finished.
Maybe next time I’ll commit better to training and feel less guilt for leaving my babies behind to train on the weekends. But this year, I’m happy to simply have run it. To be out there just doing it, pursuing a healthy lifestyle and pushing myself beyond my own perceived limitations. In the end, we all got that beautiful blue box and I got to spend another wonderful weekend in San Francisco.